A somber, closely written hegira of a flight from guilt follows Countess Potolska who has left her son to die in Warsaw while she joins the refugee exodus to the New World. On her way to Mexico she meets the young Italian, Guido Focari, identifies him with her dead son, and, finding him again in Mexico, instigates a mutually satisfactory association. For, from helping the astringent Frau Storker guide her ""sheep"", the Countess has found that fortune telling is a paying business and that her studies with the Psycho-Physical Society abroad have given her knowledge of the devices that will attract customers. With Guido as her helper, she tours -- first to the Gulf, then by ship to the Pacific -- and at Acapulco has two revelations that persuade her she has crossed the psychic borderline into true divinations. But the real truth reveals her obsession for Guido -- not as a replacement for her son -- and sends her back to Europe in the company of wise Frau Storker. The Countess, with her self examinations, Guido and his inhuman ability to survive, the assorted people met in her travels -- from a small copra dealer to a breeder of toros bravos, the heroes of the bull ring, and the customers for whom she must display psychic phenomena -- are all embroiled in a somewhat murky atmosphere which would seem to obliterate the shining light of popular appeal.